From Congressional Quarterly today:
House Panel Approves Expansion of Hate Crimes Law
The House Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday to extend federal hate crimes law to cover offenses based on sexual orientation.
The measure was approved 15-12 after a two-day debate and the defeat of more than a dozen Republican amendments.
Current federal hate crime law covers the use or threat of force based on race, color, religion or national origin. The new bill also covers crimes committed based on gender identity.
The panel considered more than a dozen GOP amendments Wednesday over the course of five hours, and rejected another five before approving the bill.
Committee Republicans objected to the bill on First Amendment grounds and because they believe it amounts to favoritism toward certain groups.
“Every human being in the world deserves to be equally protected, no matter who they are or who they go to bed with,” shouted Republican Louie Gohmert of Texas, the ranking member on the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee, in an impassioned speech opposing the measure.
It's a start for our friends South of the 49th, but will it be passed by Congress and enforced as the "law of the land"?
We'll see . . . .